Feelings Are Fun: Your Emotional Overdrive May Be Your Super Power

Like any true adult, I cry constantly. It’s very casual and part of my regular schedule; don’t be weird about it.

Like most women, I’m naturally intuitive. It’s a skill we picked up on to like, I don’t know, survive?

But like few special souls (I absolutely DOUSED that in sarcasm), I’m referred to as an “empath.” I hate that word by the way. It sounds like the name of a company that makes really expensive heart rate monitors.

An empath is defined as a person with the paranormal ability (it comes from science fiction) to apprehend the mental and emotional state of another individual. I define it as “Constantly carrying everyone else’s emotional weight with you on top of your own in attempts to murder yourself slowly.” Empaths navigate the world through super-heightened intuition and an unasked-for capability to be constantly in tune with everyone else’s emotional well-being. You’re in check with body language, facial expression, what people say and even don’t say. Round the clock. Blessed.

This is not a brag. Perpetual capital-E Empathy is exhausting. It’s more exhausting than running a marathon and I think I’d know because I’ve ran absolutely none.

Being an empath has all but destroyed most of my days. I’m consistently parsing and piling on other people’s moods and emotions like Princess and The Pea style, wherein I’m the pea, naturally. (Please just nod your head and keep reading, I can’t always be on top of my analogy game.) Shockingly, it gets a little tiring to constantly be processing my own emotions and deciphering yours at the same time.

It can feel out of control at times. Situations can often feel too much, too loud. But when it’s in control (which takes every day practice and relentless focus), we have power. Magic, even.

WHY IT’S YOUR SUPERPOWER:

  • You are BUILT with a bullshit meter. You know when anyone is lying. I absolutely cannot prove that, but only we know it’s true and it comes from your natural ability to read people.
  • Feeling others’ emotions as your own allows for creating deeper relationships. Being able to get on someone’s wavelength immediately allows you to bond with humans almost instantaneously. You know when someone’s “off” often before they even do and sometimes there’s nothing better than a fellow human noticing you and saying “Hey, you good?”
  • You’re like….kinda psychic. Not Teresa-from-Long-Island-Medium psychic, but pretty close. You have a hunch when something doesn’t feel quite right and ~not to brag~ but you’re rarely wrong because you’re WORKIN that mental state x-ray vision.
  • You can see situations from a million different angles. You’re able to chameleon to different mindsets in seconds. You know the expression “Put yourself in someone else’s shoes?” You can wear their whole damn outfit. It actually makes you a pretty good mediator.

I know. Seeing yourself as the Wonder Woman (OR MAN, SHOUTOUT EMPATH MEN) of Feels instead of as just you routinely dealing with the weight of all the empath symptoms probably feels like you’re being attacked by a lion and someone referring to it as a cute little kitten who just wants to play. But there is hope for us, Overly Intuitive One.

A couple ways I deal:

  • You have to practice mindfulness. Be where you are. Don’t invite yourself into situations that don’t involve you. I know It’s impossible not to magnetize to a situation where you can tell emotions are off. I pick up on it like a damn bat signal and BAM I’m involved. I will be like, “Can you please lower your voice I am trying to find out what these complete strangers next to us are arguing about and why one of them is crying into their oatmeal so I can let it destroy me and get too upset to eat my Eggs Benedict, thanks. “ I have literally never heard of minding my own business.
  • Allow yourself breaks throughout the day to decompress in mini spurts. I try to take 10 minutes every two hours or so to go somewhere without any other humans.

Remember: You’re a superhero. But you’re also more than that. You’re fucking YOU.

Image from KateHash.com

Liz Welle  is a professional feelings feeler but gets paid to do social and digital stuff for brands in Minneapolis while occasionally food styling on the side. She lives in Uptown with her boyfriend and their thirteen plants. She is doing her best.